The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received federal approval to expand the state’s Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program to cover the summer months.
To date, DCFS has issued approximately $192.2 million in P-EBT benefits for 515,624 students who receive federal free or reduced-price meals but attended school between August 2020 and May 2021 on a hybrid or virtual learning schedule because of the pandemic. The third P-EBT payment, covering February-May 2021, is scheduled to begin loading onto cards on August 4.
Benefits for the Summer P-EBT program are expected to be issued in August. Those who have already received P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year will see benefits made available on student’s existing cards by August 6.
For Summer P-EBT, each eligible child will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover both June and July. The program differs from the 2020-21 School Year P-EBT program in that students who attended school in-person, as well as on a hybrid or virtual schedule, would be eligible if they receive free or reduced-price meals and were in school in May 2021.
It includes those eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) and those in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, where all children receive free meals regardless of family income, as of May 2021.
Students who were not previously approved for free or reduced-price school meals, but who apply by July 30, 2021, and are later approved, will also be eligible to receive Summer P-EBT. While Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued to those who have applied for free or reduced-price school meals by July 30, there may be a delay in the issuance of benefits.
There is no action required for students who already received free or reduced-price school meals or attended a CEP school. DCFS will work with school districts to gather eligibility information.
Important information about benefits:
Children who received P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year will receive their Summer P-EBT payment on the same EBT card where their P-EBT benefits were issued.
Children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals but didn’t receive P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year because they attended school in-person will receive a P-EBT card by mail pre-loaded with their Summer P-EBT benefits.
More information about the P-EBT program can be found at www.pebt-la.org.
DCFS is also working with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service on a plan for children aged 0-5 who are in SNAP households but did not receive P-EBT benefits through the school year P-EBT program. More information on that program will be announced later.